After a few weeks trying to cut a number of expenses, I hereby offer you 10 things you can think about where you might be able to cut your bills or your monthly outgoings.
1) Lowering your Cable TV/Satellite Subscription
Or indeed, cutting it out completely. Think about it, how much time do you watch TV anyway. Not much? Then you don't need either Cable or Satellite. Watch it alot, then you probably need to cut down anyway.
I used to have Cable TV in a previous house which was about $60 a month, now saved.
2) Monthly Insurances
House insurance, contents insurance, life insurance, car insurance, income protection insurance, the list goes on. Every month you give money to someone else such that they can help you out if things go wrong. But how often do you check to see that you're paying the lowest price. You'd be surprised to learn you haven't reviewed your insurance in years.
I am planning an appointment with an insurance broker soon and I suspect I'll get to save somewhere between $20 and $30 each month on my insurances.
3) Utility Bills
With the shake up of most countries power over the past decade or so, it's pretty easy to find great deals on your electricity and/or gas usage. Just shop around and you'd be surprised at how much the smaller suppliers are charging compared with the old incumbents.
I've just change providers and will be saving about $25 a month.
4) Moving to a Lower Internet Plan
If you're not using your internet plan to the fullest, then you probably want to downgrade to the next plan down. This is especially true if you're not downloading lots of large files. You're probably using nowhere near what your plan allows you to.
I realised I was on a 20G plan and in only 2 months in the last 6 did I reach 8G or 9G. I've now lowered my plan to 10G and will probably look at the 5G and just pay for excess bandwidth if I use it. A saving of $25 a month right there.
5) Switching Banks
By switching banks you may be able to save various chunks of money here, there and everywhere. From service fees, withdrawal fees, other bank's ATM fees and a myriad of other fees which all add up, you might save a few bob.
I just switched banks, mainly for my mortgage, but by switching my current account and credit card too, I'll be saving $12 a month on account charges and about $15 a month on not getting credit card insurance. Also, $20 a year on the credit card fee and about the same to be in the rewards program. It all adds up.
6) Switch to Low Power Devices
Switching to low power light bulbs is an easy win, but think about switching your other devices to a low power one too. The washing machine and fridge would be two worth looking at.
Maybe it's not worth it if your current devices are still happy and working but when you have to replace them, it'll be well worth the time investigating the low power options.
7) Switch to Pre-Pay on your Mobile/Cell phone
Switching to pay only for what you use is a pretty good option in most cases. I know people who have switched to metered water and who are now saving a good chunk of money (people who would have in the past been subsidising the people who waste water unnecessarily). Why can't you do the same for your mobile? If you don't use it much switch to only pay for what you use.
I shall be switching to Pre-Pay soon and going from paying $20 a month subscription (+ calls) to paying $6 (to get a special offer) + what I actually use. I'm sure to save around $20 a month.
8) Lowering your Rent
Moving to a smaller place means you'd probably end up paying less rent. You might also have to get rid of some stuff that has been dragging you down the last few years. An increase in savings and an increase in life simplification will work wonders for your stress levels and your daily energy.
Moving from a three bedroom, to a two bedroom and now a one bedroom place has made me open my eyes as to what is important in life. Having stuff and clutter is not on that list. Also saving $220 a month isn't bad.
9) Moving to somewhere close enough to walk or bike to work
By moving somewhere where you can walk or bike to work means you get to save money and you'll probably end up saving time too (since biking is pretty quick once you get used to it). No buses or trains to wait for and no being angry at crazy and unreliable timetables.
Moving into town has meant that I not only have more money to save due to not having to bus ($100) but I also save now that I have sold my car. My fitness levels are up and my savings are bigger.
10) Anything else you regularly pay for?
Whatever you have that you pay for regularly is ripe to be analysed and figured out how much of that particular thing you actually need. Almost everything can be shaved slightly to give you those few extra dollars in your back pocket.
And as always, and for those of us who have seen the light about all of this, you know that shaving off a little of each bill here and there makes no difference to the quality of life but an enormous difference to your bank balance once added up.
So, get cracking on those regular payments and make sure you shave each of them and save a bit every month. By the end of the month, you'll be surprised at how much you're keeping instead of slipping through your hands.